The majority of people in prison and jail have a substance use disorder. Despite the promise demonstrated by some treatment programs for people who are incarcerated, just a fraction of the people who need services for substance abuse receive it. Connecting people incarcerated to treatment programs proven to be effective, prioritizing resources for those nearing release, and encouraging community-based aftercare will ensure better outcomes for people released from prisons and jails, and the communities to which they return.

Substance Abuse FAQs

Providing answers on relevant topics concerning Mental Health, Health and Substance Abuse topics.

Recent Posts

Stepping Up Initiative Expands Push for Counties to Collect Data on Number of People in Jails Who Have Mental Illnesses

Stepping Up Initiative Expands Push for Counties to Collect Data on Number of People in Jails Who Have Mental Illnesses

The Stepping Up initiative recently launched a national effort to help counties collect accurate, accessible data on the number of people entering their jails who have mental illnesses. As part of the effort, seven rural and urban “Innovator Counties” have been selected as models for their expertise in accurately identifying these individuals and consistently collecting data on them.

Baltimore County to Further Improve Crisis Response System Based on Independent Assessment

Baltimore County to Further Improve Crisis Response System Based on Independent Assessment

The Baltimore County, Maryland, county executive recently released a report that provides recommendations for the county to better position its police-mental health collaboration (PMHC), the Baltimore County Crisis Response System, to provide an effective and comprehensive response that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and maximizes both public safety and health outcomes.

Congress Approves FY18 Funding Levels for Criminal Justice Programs

Congress Approves FY18 Funding Levels for Criminal Justice Programs

Recently, the U.S. Congress approved the $1.3 trillion Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill that would set government funding through Sep. 30, 2018. The bill provides $30.3 billion for the Department of Justice and includes $2.9 billion for various state and local law enforcement assistance grant programs.

Arkansas Opens First Crisis Stabilization Unit

Arkansas Opens First Crisis Stabilization Unit

Arkansas’s first crisis stabilization unit (CSU) opened in Sebastian County on March 1 with high praise from Governor Asa Hutchinson. This center, which will provide services to people experiencing mental health crises, is the first of four such centers planned across the state. Officials are hopeful that it will serve as a model that other states can follow.

Megan Quattlebaum Named Director of the CSG Justice Center

Megan Quattlebaum Named Director of the CSG Justice Center

The Council of State Governments (CSG) recently announced that Megan Quattlebaum, research scholar in law at Yale University Law School and lecturer in law at Columbia University Law School, will be the next director of The CSG Justice Center.

Announcements

Coming Together for Action Conference

Coming Together for Action Conference

The Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice is partnering with the Colorado School of Public Health to convene an interdisciplinary conference for behavioral health, social justice, and healthier communities, particularly in relation to more effectively meeting the needs of people in the juvenile and criminal justice systems who have mental illnesses and substance addictions.

Webinars

Addressing the Needs of Veterans in the Criminal Justice System

Addressing the Needs of Veterans in the Criminal Justice System

This webinar provides an overview of national estimates of incarcerated veterans; explains components of the Veterans Health Administration’s veterans justice programs; expands awareness of the needs of veterans in the justice system; and discusses new developments in the Veterans Administration and community interventions to provide services to veterans in the justice system.

Best Practices in Screening and Assessment for People with Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal Justice System

Best Practices in Screening and Assessment for People with Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal Justice System

This webinar features Roger Peters, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist and professor in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida. The webinar discusses the prevalence of co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders among people involved in the criminal justice system, as well as effective screening and assessment instruments to use with this population.

Publications

Journal for Advancing Justice

Journal for Advancing Justice

This new journal from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals is dedicated to the topic of identifying and rectifying racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in treatment courts.

Home, Together: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

Home, Together: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

This publication from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness lays out a plan for ending homelessness that focuses on identifying and describing essential federal strategies to build effective, lasting systems that aim to work both in the present and to be able to respond quickly and efficiently when housing instability and homelessness occur in the future.

Modern Justice: Using Data to Reinvent America’s Crisis Response Systems

Modern Justice: Using Data to Reinvent America’s Crisis Response Systems

This publication from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation examines how public safety personnel, health professionals, and service providers can contribute to solving the problem of Frequent Utilizers—those who cycle in and out of jails, hospitals, shelters, and other social service programs at a startlingly high rate.

Data Trends: Utah Criminal Justice Reform

Data Trends: Utah Criminal Justice Reform

This report examines data on prison populations and crime since comprehensive changes to policies and practices took place in Utah beginning in 2015.

Addiction Policy Forum Hospital Toolkit

Addiction Policy Forum Hospital Toolkit

This toolkit from the Addiction Policy Forum was designed to empower patients, families, emergency medicine providers, and policymakers to work collaboratively to identify patients in need of help, initiate evidence-based treatments, and connect patients and families to comprehensive support services.

Returns on Investments in Recidivism-Reducing Programs

Returns on Investments in Recidivism-Reducing Programs

This policy brief from the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors discusses the economic costs of crime and the effectiveness of programs to reduce recidivism, focusing on programs delivered inside correctional facilities addressing three main areas: mental health, substance abuse, and education.

Recent headlines

Carson City Looks to Help Incarcerated Women

Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong said law enforcement officials are trying to understand how women’s experiences are typically different from men’s experiences, and that changes how they interact in a jail.

State to Take a Closer Look at Prison Health Care

The state study comes after The Pew Charitable Trusts issued a comprehensive, state-by-state look at prison health care costs last year. Among the 49 states that participated in the study, Vermont came in with the second-highest per-inmate health care cost in fiscal year 2015 at $13,747.

Homegirl Cafe Offers ‘Platos’ by Ex-Gang Members with Hope

Trainees learn all aspects of culinary arts while developing social skills that create tender encounters with visitors. In addition to job training, the former gang members can take advantage of tattoo removal, anger management classes and drug treatment.

A Massive New Study Puts a Pin in One of the Oldest Myths about Mental Illness

Study authors found that not only is the connection between mental illness and violence shoddy—the 44-plus million American adults with a mental illness account for between 3 and 5 percent of violent crimes—but in fact those who have a mental illness are more likely to be the victims of a violent crime.

A Restaurant Takes On the Opioid Crisis, One Worker at a Time

Last September, Rob and Diane Perez opened DV8 Kitchen, a restaurant that not only hires people in treatment for addiction to opioids or other substances, but also focuses its entire business model on recovery, using the restaurant setting as a tool for rehabilitation.